The market’s reaction to Wine Spectator’s top wines of 2020

How do you measure the power of the wine critic, if not by their ability to move the market?

Wine Spectator, one of the most influential US wine publications, released their top wines of 2020 over the course of the past week. In the past, we have observed that the wine in pole position usually sees an immediate uptick in activity, with wines further down the list also benefitting from their inclusion.

The top of the Wine Spectator list this year was Marques Murrieta, Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, 2010. The reaction was swift. The wine moved from being the 19th most traded wine from Spain in the first eleven months of the year, to the most traded in December and fourth most for 2020 year-to-date.

The price of the wine also increased, from £870 per 12×75 to upwards of £1,060 per case. Buyers remain active but sellers are harder to find. Just 7,500 cases of the wine are made each year, which is relatively small, however it is the second largest production of the top 10.

The most liquid wine in the Spectators Top 10 list also saw increased activity – Bollinger Grand Annee 2012, which has production of over 30,000 bottles annually. With a decent production still in circulation, prices fluctuated but have move little beyond their pre-announcement level.

Two Italian wines made the Wine Spectator’s Top 10 with the price moves fully reflecting both their inclusion and their relative scarcity.

The full list of the top 100 Wine Spectator’s wines of the year can be found here.